i love Relevant Magazine. it is an honest and awesome blog based around God, life, and a progressive culture. i always find topics that are being written about that absolutely apply to my life. i read this post, “You Never Marry the Right Person” a few months ago and it most certainly made me realize a few things.
we as a culture completely misunderstand what it means to be compatible with another person. there is the assumption floating around that if you both truly and completely love each other, then everything is going to be perfect between the two of you. right down to the silly things like putting shoes away and making sure the toilet paper is always full.
most of the time our ideas of compatibility belong to the category of “completing” ourselves through this other person – our soul mate, if you will. the author of the post, Timothy Keller, writes, “Today we are looking for someone who accepts us as we are and fulfills our desires, and this creates an unrealistic set of expectations that frustrates both the searchers and the searched for.”
it is as if we are looking for the un-findable, requiring the impossible, and assuming it will all just happen because, well… well, that’s just how it’s supposed to go! and we begin expecting so much out of our marriage partners while never allowing them to do the same to us. they can make no sort of assumption on us, but they must fulfill absolutely every need we have right when we have it otherwise they must not love us and we should probably go ahead and divorce.
it’s as though we’ve learned to bring self-fulfillment to the table rather than self-denial. where did we learn that relationships were created to fulfill our own needs, and ours alone, while our partner sits waiting in the dust to jump to our every need and desire? relationships were created to serve our partner. the craziest thing happens when everyone in a marriage relationship begins to serve their spouse – everyone gets a piece of the pie!
what’s interesting is that, because we are self-centered and sinful, we will always be the “wrong” person for someone else to marry. none of us are perfect, and therefore, none of us can automatically live a life of love towards another person while doing it well. that’s why good marriages always require hard work and hardship. why? because it’s hard! it’s hard to be that person who is living out of love towards their spouse 24/7, who never has a complaint or an argument, who is so willing and ready to serve their spouse, who completely gives up any sense of their own needs and desires for the purpose and objective of fulfilling their spouse.
what is this madness? marriage and a good, healthy relationship takes… work?!?! well, not if you’re truly soul-mates, right?!
this is a typical response to the fact that marriage can be super tough at times. but really, once we grab hold of the fact that no one is completely compatible with another, especially for the duration of a marriage, we can hopefully come to a place of reprieve and admittance. where we can admit that we are sinful, but that we are married to an equally broken person who has chosen to marry us despite, and because of, who we are as well.